When you visit a store, it is reasonable to expect that you will enter and leave the premises without incident. After all, public stores have large numbers of people passing through them every year. But, like any public place, you can’t control every detail. If you slip and fall in a store, be sure to do the following.
Alert the Management
Be sure to notify the store’s management or available employees as soon as possible. This step is especially important if there were no witnesses to your accident. If you wait too long, it might be difficult to prove a store’s liability for your slip and fall incident, and the problem that led to your accident may be remedied before you report it. Notifying store personnel can prevent something similar from happening in the future and get you the assistance you need if you are injured.
Seek Medical Attention
You will likely be stunned and embarrassed if you fall, and these feelings may cloud your judgment. Resist the urge to leave the premises if you are hurt. Allow an ambulance to bring you to a hospital for a thorough evaluation of your injuries. Some symptoms may not become apparent until later.
Document the Incident
After an ambulance arrives, emergency workers will automatically create a report documenting the details of the incident. Otherwise, confirm that the management or staff records what happened and be sure to exchange contact information. If there are witnesses to the accident, try to acquire their names and phone numbers. Their accounts of what happened may be needed if you pursue legal action.
Try to remain as calm as possible, without chastising anyone or laying blame. Do not try to persuade others to become witnesses or see things from your point of view. Only speak with store personal or first responders who are there to assist in an official capacity. Extraneous conversations can lead to confusion or cause you to say things unintentionally.
Get a Doctor’s Report
If you need medical care, be sure to get a doctor’s report outlining your injuries and the recommended course of treatment and follow-up. You will need this is you file a complaint.
Know Why You Fell
Stores are not liable for every slip and fall accident that occurs on their premises. Knowing what caused your accident can help you decide whether or not you should seek damages. If you fell due to dizziness or a broken heel, a store cannot be accountable. However, if you slipped and fell on a bottle of oil that the staff didn’t warn about or clean up, you likely have a case.
Consult an Attorney
Don’t assume that a store must compensate you, even if you feel completely blameless for your accident. There are circumstances in which a store’s liability may seem obvious to you and witnesses, but the law may see things differently, and attribute partial responsibility to you. Laws may vary by state, so it is best to seek legal guidance.
If you slip and fall in a store, consult with an attorney as soon as possible to determine if you have a case.